gain

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • verb to increase by a particular amount
  • verb to get or obtain a result in an examination

Accounting

  • noun an increase, or the act of becoming larger
  • noun an increase in profit, price, or value
  • noun money made by a company which is not from the company’s usual trading

Computing

  • noun an amount by which a signal amplitude is changed as it passes through a circuit, usually given as a ratio of output to input amplitude.

Construction

  • The mortise or notch in a piece of wood into which a piece of wood, hinge, or other hardware fits.
  • An increase in transmission signal power from one point to another, expressed in decibels.
  • An increase in the volume of sound of a radio.

Electronics

  • The increase in current, voltage, or power provided by a component, circuit, device, or system. For instance, the ratio of the output power to the input power of a power amplifier. Usually expressed in decibels.
  • The effectiveness, generally expressed in decibels, of a directional antenna as compared to a given standard, such as a dipole or isotropic antenna.
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Medical

  • noun an act of adding or increasing something

Politics

  • noun an increase in a share of the vote
  • noun a seat won in an election

Origin & History of “gain”

Gain is Germanic in origin, although English acquired it via Old French. Its distant ancestor is the Germanic noun *waithā. The etymological meaning of this was ‘hunting ground’ (it came ultimately from a prehistoric Indo-European base *wei-, which also produced Lithuanian vyti ‘pursue, hunt’ and Sanskrit veti, vayati ‘seeks, follows’), but gradually this extended via ‘place where food or fodder is sought’ to ‘grazing place’ (its modern German and Dutch descendant weide means ‘pasture’). From it was formed a verb *waithanjan ‘hunt’ and ‘graze, pasture’, which vulgar Latin took over as *gwadanjāre. This preserved the semantic dichotomy that had grown up in Germanic: the agricultural sense developed to ‘cultivate land’, and it appears that the ‘hunting’ sense gave rise metaphorically to ‘win, earn’. both passed into Old French gaaigner, but evidently by the time English acquired the word, the former meaning had all but died out (although it is interesting to note that it was introduced into English as a pseudo-archaism in the 17th and 18th centuries: ‘Of old to gain land was as much as to till and manure it’, Termes de la ley 1708).
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